It was the slickest move I ever made.
I would say that I can’t imagine living my life outside of my relationship with my best friend, Jesus, but I can imagine it because I lived without his friendship for the first 28 years of my life. And let me tell you: It was a living nightmare.
So, when, by the grace of God, I finally understood how shattered and broken my life was and that he was offering me immortality, fulfillment, and unspeakable freedom from guilt and shame, I jumped at the opportunity. The preacher who shared the story of Jesus with me was plain, however: The gift is free, but it comes at a price. And that price is so great you may want to reconsider.
I don’t remember his exact words, but I remember the gist of it. He basically said, “You know all that you thought was important up to this point? It’s all got to go.”
I didn’t bat an eye. The drinking, the dope-smoking, the adultery, the cheating and lying – it had worn me down to the point that I was one weary dude. I was frazzled and worn out. Daily living had become a chore and a burden because I was growing exhausted from the constant juggling it takes to live a life of duplicity and deception.
I agreed to give it all up! On the spot!
One passage that began to mean a lot to me in my early walk with Christ (it helped keep me grounded in my new faith) is found in Matthew 19:16-24. In this passage, the story is told of the man who came to Jesus and asked him what “good thing” he would have to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded that the man should keep the commandments. Don’t kill! Don’t commit adultery! Don’t give false testimony!
But when the man informed Jesus that he already kept the Ten Commandments, Jesus dropped a bomb on him:
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
You talk about dropping a bomb — this was nuclear! It’s all got to go!
Apparently, this news was devastating for the man because the next verse says:
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
I’ve thought a lot about this verse over the years, and I think I have it finally figured out.
It is not that Jesus’ command is that everyone who wants to be his follower must do what he told this young man to do. It’s bigger than that. Instead, he’s saying that being in a relationship with him is so valuable that even if he commands you to give up all of your stuff to follow him, it should be automatic. He’s worth it! Jesus is worth more than any earthly thing.
With me, it was the stuff I mentioned above. Alcohol, drugs, sex. Those were the big three. But it was also my narcissism, my love of self. Some of those I disposed of immediately. Others, like taking care of number one first, no matter what it cost Kay, my boys, and others, has taken a lifetime of God’s discipline to ferret out.
All I can tell you is that after partnering with Jesus to detach myself from the things of this world, I am at total peace with God and my own heart. No matter what comes my way, I’m good to go because of who I gave control of my life to. I fired Phil Robertson as captain of my life years ago and pleaded with Christ to take control.
I haven’t looked back. I have no sentimental remembrance of anything I gave up to follow him. Looking back, I’m disgusted by it all, to tell you the truth. If you were to ask me if it was all worth it, I would say, “Uh, yeah! It was worth it. Still is. In fact, with every passing day, I’m more confident than ever that giving it up for Jesus’ sake was the slickest move I ever made.”
If you are experiencing conviction from the Holy Spirit to become an indwelt Christian, consider praying this prayer. HERE
© 2022 Phil Robertson | Dr. Stephen Phinney
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